Stay active! Less children are participating in active lifestyles. Why is this so?

One reason may be the attraction of video games for children.

Video games are the popular pastime of the new generation. According to Dr. David Walsh president of the National Institute on Media and the Family, “96% of boys and 78% of girls play video games on a regular basis with girls playing an average of five hours per week and boys thirteen.” When video games distract children from playing outside or doing homework, one can easily see that this new fad may cause a drop in grades, and an unhealthy lifestyle.

Exercise is not your old gym class - explore new activities!

Not all children are interested in traditional sports that are introduced to them in gym class or day camp, such as baseball, basketball, swimming, tennis, etc. They need to explore other opportunities to find the activities they may enjoy.

There are a variety of other sports you can try, such as: yoga, Pilates, dancing, cycling, karate, water polo, snow skiing, snowboarding, field hockey, lacrosse, hockey, and many others. It’s important to find something that you enjoy at a young age to maintain a healthy lifestyle.

Benefits of exercise

When you’re young, playing sports to stay in shape should not be the primary motivation; however, children need to learn that daily exercise will help them stay healthy for many years to come. Other benefits of exercise include:

  • Staying in shape as you get older
  • Having more endurance to have fun and do other activities you may enjoy
  • Meet new friends as you try new activities
  • Exercise makes you feel better about yourself, and when you exercise you release endorphins which are hormones that improve your mood.

Here are a few tips about becoming active

  • Try new sports! Try a dance class at the local community center or try out for one of your school’s sports teams.
  • Think about exercising as an activity, not as a chore. It will go by more quickly, and will be more enjoyable
  • Gradually increase your activity – try to do a little bit at first, then increase as you are more knowledgeable about the sport.
  • Sometimes it’s fun to work out with friends. They will keep you motivated, and in return you will motivate them
  • Whether it’s walking, biking, swimming, running, or going to practice, you should try to workout almost every day.

Get Active - Stay Active - Have Fun!

Reviewed: 12/13

Reviewed by a Cleveland Clinic medical professional.

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